Teachers are supposed to be intelligent guides that help shape the minds of kids to create a better society. Unfortunately, there are a handful of teachers that make you wonder how they graduated, let alone become an educator. These students share the dumbest teachers they ever encountered.
Content has been edited for clarity.
"Oh boy. It was 4th grade.
4th grade in my school is the year where you were taken more seriously. We had this thing in my school called 'switching'. There were 4 teachers participating, the two 4th grade teachers and the two 5th grade teachers. It was supposed to be to 'prepare us for middle school'. Which, in my opinion, didn't prepare me for anything. During switching classes would line up in single file lines all nice and organized while in middle school you have everyone going to different classes at different paces.
Anyways, I had this one teacher. We'll call her Mrs. Italy as she always bragged about her Italian heritage.
She was always angry at everyone. She was very biased to her original class and didn't treat the switching the classes with the same respect. Her original class was showered with constant gifts and praises, and all of the switch classed were always being yelled at. She never really explained anything thoroughly to us. She would just kind of give us work and expect us to understand it. Being a straight A student my whole life who suddenly dropped to a C student I was constantly sad. I felt like I wasn't good enough and like it was never going to get better. (It eventually did though, near the end of the year I got A's again.)
Like I said before, she constantly bragged about being Italian. 'I'm like 100% Italian. I can speak like 3 words in Italian, too. Oh I also went to Italy when I was like 5.'
Thankfully the year after that she was fired.
The other teacher was in 6th grade. I had borrowed a book from my 7th hour teacher Mrs. B., it was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I hadn't read the other books yet but I had seen the movies and she didn't have 1, 2 or 3 available. Anyways, one day I'm in 7th hour and I realize that my book is gone. So I look in my bag, in my desk, etc. And I don't see it. I remember having it in 5th hour, so I realize I must have left it in 6th hour. Yes, I had put it in the desk and then forgotten about it. I remembered now. No big deal. I would swoop into my 6th hour after school knock on my door ask to check my desk the book would be there and I would vamoose. So it's after school.
I knock on the door and wait to hear the 'come in' and Mrs. M. says, 'What do you need?'
So I respond that I forgot my book. So she says, 'Oh, go ahead.'
I go to my desk. It's not there. I look at the side counter. It's not there.
'Uh, excuse me, Mrs. M.? Did you see a book about 3 inches thick with an orange background and a boy on the cover, with the title "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling"?'
She looks up at me with guilty dog eyes and says 'No.' With a very long n and short o.
It felt odd, but teachers are always right, right? I go home, saddened. The next day I break the news to Mrs. B. and I frantically apologize. I try handing her the $5 fee but she says that we should wait to see if it pops back up. And so I wait and nothing happens, so I give the money to Mrs. B. I felt especially bad because I felt as though I had broken her trust, even though she was very forgiving. So the same week Mrs. M. says that she's moving and can't teach at this school because it will be an hour away. Everyone is fairly excited as she was very judgmental and rude. So Mr. E., Mrs. B's assistant, takes over for a bit. And I remember sitting at my desk doing bellwork. Mrs. B. Calls me up to her desk and holds up the Harry Potter book. 'Mr. E. Found it in Mrs. M.'s supply closet.' And so she handed me back my $5 and I was happy."
"I walked into class on the first day of fourth grade with the excitement that comes with practically being an adult (10 year old me had a different definition of adulthood than 21 year old me).
My new fourth grade teacher, whom we shall call Ms. Tweed Skirt, evidently felt the same about ten marking the end of childhood. One of the first things she did once we all sat down was to point to a massive list written on one of those mega-sized notepads elementary school teachers love so much.
'Alright everyone. Now that you are in fourth grade, you need to be prepared for the rigors of middle school. Your workload will increase, and you will no longer be treated like a child. This here-' she pointed to the massive list - 'is your list of consequences for bad behavior. There will be no rewards, as you are too old for them, and I expect you to be on good behavior at all times.'
Fourth grade was off to a good start. After that rousing speech, we ten-year-olds were super psyched to start our fourth grade adventure!
But lo and behold, it gets worse.
As a class, we all had to take the Gifted and Talented program testing, or GATE, as it’s more commonly known. I qualified, along with several other intelligent, inquisitive students with a thirst for learning. In order to foster this academic love and high achievement, teachers were urged to put together a program for the GATE kids, to keep them engaged in class, and to help us advance.
So what did Ms. Tweed Skirt do? She took all us excited GATE kids outside, and gave us enough busywork to last the whole class period. In addition, while the normal kids were expected to know a handful of words on each spelling test, and could gain extra credit points by getting the 'challenge words' correct, us GATE kids had to get all the words correct, challenge words included. There was no way for us to gain extra credit, we just had to do more work for fewer rewards than everyone else because we were so smart.
With teachers like her around, it’s no wonder kids lose all academic motivation.
Worst of all, any critiques or questions involving her teaching methods were deemed insubordination, and the kids who asked them were quickly dispatched to the principals office for 'talking back'.
This wasn’t Ms. Tweed Skirt’s only infraction. She ran our first science fair. I was thrilled about the whole thing, so I went to the library and checked out an illustrated book on black holes. I decided to do my fourth grade science fair project on time dilation (it sounds so cool when I describe it like that… and it’s technically true! ). I read about the twin metaphor, about how if one twin approaches a black hole she will be younger than her twin on Earth when she returns.
I bought poster board and pretty scrapbook paper and was all ready to turn in my assignment. However, when Ms. Tweed Skirt heard about it, she got really upset, and brought my parents in to talk about how I was a terrible student because I was blatantly disregarding the scientific method, which she apparently had taught us at some point (I honestly had no idea when that was). That might have been my fault, but even still, instead of encouraging a young child to study this advanced topic that interested them, she essentially told me my project was trash and to make a new one. In two days. Or I was failing the assignment.
So I spent a mind-numbing four hours dropping objects from ladders and timing how long it took them to fall. I made a pretty poster board, got nominated to compete in the school-level science fair, and promptly got eliminated. I had been so excited to come up with the coolest project possible, and, honestly, any good teacher should have been encouraging a student, especially one with no experience in the sciences (a.k.a. a ten-year-old). Instead, Ms. Tweed Skirt handled the situation will less forgiveness than my college professors. From then on out I lacked any enthusiasm for science fairs, which was really too bad because I ended up going into Biology, and could have rocked those fairs like nobody’s business. I wonder how many kids she convinced that they were talentless. It’s a shame teachers like that exist.
And the worst part? Ms. Tweed Skirt was moved up to fifth grade the next year. I changed schools, but most of my classmates stayed. Having heard about her antics from the year before, most of the parents of the incoming fifth grade class wrote letters to the principal, asking that their child not be placed in her class. Who were the parents who didn’t write letters, you may ask?
Well, those were the parents who’s children had been in her class last year. They thought there’s no way our kids would get her twice.
Well they did. Almost every single kid who had suffered through Ms. Tweed Skirt’s fourth grade class was now forced into her fifth grade classroom.
Wasn’t that nice?"
"I have two; both directly involving my twin brother.
The first was 6th grade. In our school our classed were divided into 7 periods. The first three with one teacher then a free period (for art, gym, music, etc.) and the last three with another teacher. Our two teachers were good friends and had developed a weird mean girl way of coping with stress. They would pick on a student and mock and make fun of them with each other and sometimes in front of the class.
This year they chose me and my brother wasn't having it so as a result they chose us. On one particular occasion I was reading after having finished the classwork. My teacher got mad and told me I was supposed to be doing the classwork. She called me a liar and asked to see my work. She graded it right there and then and I had a perfect score which made her even angrier.
She threw my paper's at me and shouted, 'Kate, I'm going to tell you something you might not know! BOOKS END!' There was a moment of silence, everyone in class was staring wide-eyed. And then suddenly my twin piped up 'Not the never-ending story.' Everyone immediately burst into laughter. We got sent to the principal's office but it was worth it.
The second story was high-school. I was only adequate at math but always took the honors class. My math teacher was brilliant at math but not great at teaching it. One evening I was struggling with the homework and asked my brother for help. He went step by step through the process showing me how to do the problem (something the teacher had refused to do with me.) I was able to complete the homework after that with little difficulty.
A few days later we got our assignments back. He had a perfect 100 points; I had a failing 52 points. When I asked the teacher why she told me you skipped a step in every problem. When I pointed out that my brother skipped the step she just shrugged her shoulders and said but he probably knew it was there."
"Well. This wasn't actually a teacher, but the principal at my middle school. I went to an arts-focus school, and the principal was known for being slightly irresponsible. Let's call him Mr. R; he was beginning his second year at that school. Some of the teachers organized a school trip to New York City for the theater and visual arts focus programs. Since it was district policy to have a principal or vice principal present at all out-of-state school events, Mr. R came along. As it turned out, he was using this school trip as a vacation for himself! He began by upgrading his seat, and his seat only, to first class on the plane from Denver to LaGuardia. This was strange; why would an educator sit in first class, leaving his students in coach? Why did he upgrade his seat at all?
The plane seat was something that I could ignore, but his behavior only got worse from there. When we got off the 3-hour flight, I was walking around and stretching in the area while we waited for our bags. Mr. R asked me, and I quote, 'Quinn, do you have ADHD? You're moving around a lot, and it's disrupting me!' I was shocked. This is a line that should never be crossed, especially by a principal. Oh, and by the way, I don't even have ADHD! I simply explained to him by saying, 'No, I do not have ADHD. The seats were just too small, especially in the back of the plane.' He gave me the most spiteful glare, and the other kids present were shocked that he would say something like he did.
Oh, but we’re not even to the best part!
We were now a few days into our trip, and we were coming back from Bushwick, where we saw some amazing graffiti. When we got off the subway at our stop, we continued to ground level. When someone noticed that one girl was missing, everyone was terrified. Immediately, parent chaperones wanted to go looking. Mr. R considered this, but then decided no, we wouldn't look for her. I kid you not, he said, 'I'm tired. Let's just let her find her own way back; we can go to the hotel.' Seriously. He wanted to leave a 7th grade girl alone, on a subway in New York City, because he was tired. Luckily, while Mr. R made us go back to the hotel, one parent went to look for the lost girl anyway, despite Mr. R’s decision to leave her. Had that parent not gone looking for and found the girl, who knows what would have happened to her?!
This may sound fake, but I assure you, it was all too real. Some of the parent chaperones were so angry and upset that the principal would do these things that they actually got a petition, as well as a letter, and sent them to the district. There was enough evidence presented to fire Mr. R several times over. He was fired by the district, and he left at the end of that school year (the trip was in April). I hope that man rots, never to step foot in a classroom again. Pardon me, but that principal was an absolute piece of trash. He went on a school trip, but used it as an opportunity to have a vacation. He didn't care about anyone else, and that carelessness cost all of us dearly.
"When my daughter was in High school a teacher wanted the children to use their proper names and not nicknames. But we named our daughter Kristy, not Christine. We loved the name, but had too many in the family with the name Christine, so we decided on Kristy. We love it and so does my daughter. That teacher would only call my daughter Christine in class, and my daughter would tell her that’s not my name. Finally, my daughter told me about the situation and I called her and explained it was my daughter’s real name. But that teacher told my daughter and me that’s not a real name and she refused to use her name.
Another school teacher after meeting me told me and I quote her 'If we work hard your son may be able to wash dishes when he grows up.' He was 6 years old at the time. I was so stunned, But never let her forget it until my son graduated from High School. My son has gone to college. She believed my son to be unable to learn because he has Asperger’s. Every time I saw her I said, 'Do you remember that you said my son would only do dishes?' I couldn’t wait to tell her he was in college."
"My great-grandmother passed away this past March.
We weren't extremely close, but I am close to my grandma, so watching her lose her mother was hard.
Those of you who go to an American high school probably know that March usually means it's time for the big school play or musical.
I decided to join pit orchestra as a violinist this year amongst the other clubs I did. My schedule looked something like this:
Pit Orchestra: 6:00–9:30
In short, I barely slept and ate in those weeks and it was completely exhausting.
My great-grandmother passed away on a Thursday to which I did not find out until after school. We had a holiday on Friday, therefor there was no school, and Monday was the funeral.
I go to the funeral in the early morning, and though I was originally planning to make it to some of pit orchestra, I really wasn't in the mood afterwards. So I went out to lunch with my grandma and cousins instead.
I returned to school that Tuesday, none of my teachers asked any questions, just gave me the work I missed. When I walked into orchestra, however, the band teacher looked more upset than ever and was waiting at the door way to greet me.
“Where were you last night?”
“I had to go to a funeral.”
“Okay but aren’t those things over in the morning? You should have came afterwards.”
“Yeah but it was out of town.” At this point I was completely taken aback. That’s your first reaction to someone telling you they had a funeral to attend?
“Maybe if you would have told me you would have been excused.”
“She passed away kind of recently, it was after the weekend had started.” I have no idea what this guy’s email is, and there's no school directory to search this either.
“Hm, yeah well sorry for your loss.”
What the heck??
Some people truly baffle me.
I knew at even ten years old that when someone says that they were at a funeral, you are gentle and considerate. Especially if you are a teacher and you are speaking to a student.
When you chose to be a teacher, you also chose to be a supportive and positive influence in your students’ lives. Even though, in my case, I wasn't terribly effected by this death, this guy had no way of knowing that. Someone extremely close to me could have passed away unexpectedly. I’m sorry that I chose to attend my great-grandmother’s funeral over your rehearsal."
"I’m dyslexic. I had trouble learning subtraction, division, and comparing fractions to decimals in elementary school. I had two teachers that thought it was hilarious and liked to call me stupid. When this upset me, one of them said, well at least you’re great at complaining.
I HATE cursive with a passion. Never mind trying to read it gives me an instant migraine, it just doesn’t have any purpose anymore.
I had a (science of all things) teacher in middle school that decided midway through the first semester that we should write all science reports in cursive for the rest of the semester. I’d already completed mine and went to hand it in. She decided the whole assignment had to be rewritten in cursive (she assigned the report and I completed it before she decided this) or she wouldn’t accept it.
I was upset, but I (painfully) recopied the assignment in cursive and turned it in again. The next day, she called me up to her desk and informed me that the way I made some of my cursive letters were not ‘the right way’ and I would have to redo it again to receive points for the assignment.
I took it from her, balled it up, snapped my pencil in half and threw them both on the floor. I told her I wasn’t doing the assignment a third time, so I guess I’ll take a F.
I got sent to the hall for yelling and throwing things. (Im very stubborn, can’t you tell?)
Some weeks later, after we got a new computer lab, she decided she wanted people to start typing reports before handing them in- THANK GOD! Maybe she realized cursive is a bad idea for science reports?
I particularly loved the cursive f’s and c’s and k’s she wanted near degree symbols for temperature. Just to rile her up once, I got smart and asked her if she wanted cursive degree symbols. I got sent to the hall.
To this day, I shake my head at the nonsense. No educational value to this at all. Beyond my signature, forget cursive, and good luck changing my mind."
"In middle-school English, we were reading 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe. The teacher handed us the packets and we began reading it out loud as a class.
At first, it was great. Every stanza the same length, perfect rhythm, perfect rhyme scheme. We got to the bottom of the first page, and since there were only two or three lines, I assumed that, once the page was flipped, the rest of the stanza would be on the second page. I turned the paper over. A new stanza began.
Huh, that’s funny. That must have been a short stanza. Not sure why Poe would write it that way—not to mention that the punctuation seems somewhat off and there was virtually no transition between this stanza and the last. We kept reading the poem, and I found it to be very confusing overall. Something just didn’t seem to add up. Oh, well. What do I know about poetry? I’ll just have to figure out the meaning later.
Or so I thought. We were given an assignment for homework and I started to go over the poem again, and the more I looked at it, the more I realized that it didn’t make sense at all. Remember the short stanza at the bottom of the first page? Well, I noticed that there was another short stanza a several pages later. And if I put those two short stanzas together . . .
I rushed to the computer, did a Google search of 'The Raven,' clicked on one of the results. And sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed.
The copy that my teacher gave us was completely out of order.
Not only that, but there were two stanzas that were omitted from my teacher’s handout altogether. And we had read through the whole thing out loud. In class. With the teacher. And she hadn’t said a word.
I brought this issue up to her the following day, and her reasoning? “It’s the eighth-grade version.”
It wasn’t a mistake that occurred in the copy center. It wasn’t an error she made when copying and pasting the poem. The poem was like that because apparently there’s a separate version of “The Raven” specifically designed for the eighth-grade honors English curriculum.
Um, no. There’s no eighth-grade version. Even if there were, it wouldn’t be so jumbled and out of order that no one could understand it. The whole situation made me and my parents so angry that it still puts our entire family in a bad mood whenever it’s brought up.
I hated English that year."
"In 10th grade we had a new teacher. At this point in my life I earned a scholarship offered to underprivileged kids to a really nice private high school. There was a very nice teacher who just stank of money. She had a lot of it - from her understated designer clothes, all the way up to her manicured hands and designer purse.
She impressed the girls because she was younger than most of our teachers and pretty, and the boys because she was pretty. She walked into the class and told all of us that she knew all about us - that she used to be just like us, at one point. I highly doubted this, but I sat in the back of the class and looked attentive anyway.
She rearranged our desks in a circle and made us interview each other so we could become friends. Clearly she's never been to high school. I was outclassed and everyone there knew it. Even the other scholarship kids stayed away from 'the foster kid'. They thought I was psychotic and there were rumors I poisoned my whole family. Kids are cruel.
One particularly mean girl was who I got paired with. She interviewed me about last Christmas. Thanks, mean girl. I told her I didn't like holidays and she told the teacher I wasn't cooperative. The teacher told her Christmas was a rude topic because I was Jewish. I explained I wasn't Jewish and she mentioned every winter holiday and religion with it, I swear. I explained that my family was Christian orthodox and we have Christmas but I hated it.
Rather than let it drop, the teacher pressed on, and I was humiliated when I finally explained I didn't like Christmas because I had no family. She automatically assumes they are dead. I corrected her again and explained they had moved without me and left me to the state. She was flabbergasted. She found me too difficult for her class and asked that I excuse myself.
I told her I didn't understand because she was just like me. We didn't talk much after that, and I learned to really dislike her. Pretty sure the feeling was mutual."